Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Something I've noticed

As you all know,  I read a lot.  A LOT.  And I read widely.  But when I find an author I like, I can get a little obsessive about trying to read everything he or she has written.  And if they've had a long career, that can be a lot of books.

But something I've noticed several times recently, in reading newer works by some of these long-established writers, is that the editing doesn't seem as tight.  In one I read recently, there was a blatant grammar error very early on in the piece.  In others the writing just doesn't feel as tight or as accomplished as it did in earlier works.

I began wondering about this.  Is it that once these authors have published X number of wildly successful novels their editors feel that they can do no wrong and don't go over their manuscripts quite so carefully?  Or are they afraid to make changes to the work of this oh-so-well-known-best-selling author?  Or is it that the writer's ego gets in the way and they no longer accept so many of the editorial suggestions they're given?

I don't know.  I wish I did.  Because it's frustrating to read something by a very well known and successful author and to find the work riddled with errors that I'd pull my CPs up on.  Or letting the story meander away from the point for long tangents that go nowhere, something that I'd definitely point out if I was reading for them.

What do you think?


  1. I've noticed this too, and I believe it's because the bottom line is money. A well-known author with many bestsellers to his credit has taken and spent the advances and is contractually obligated to vomit out novels. The publishers know that as long as The Bestselling Author's name is slapped on the book -- whether it's from a ghost-writer or the editing is nonexistent or it's gotten terrible reviews -- people will fork over the price and read it anyway.

    1. I'd think that as a writer, it would be embarrassing to have something sloppily edited out there with your name on it. But maybe the next fistful of dollars is enough to salve any humiliation...

  2. I've seen a lot of best selling authors co-writing books now, and co-writing really means they come up with the idea and someone else writes the book. I don't like that at all because the books aren't up to the same level as ones actually written by the best selling author.